May 9, 2013 by eric echols
I learned how selfish a leader I was at my very first church. I was serving as the Associate Pastor at a small church, overseeing the children’s and student ministries.
I was young, idealistic, and enthusiastic…and thought I could do it all.
I was doing a good job at first until the senior pastor had a disagreement with the deacons and quit on a Sunday afternoon. When I arrived at the church prior to the Sunday evening service, the chairman of the deacons handed me the rest of the keys at the church and told me I would have to take on some additional responsibilities while they searched for a new lead pastor.
As a 22 year old kid I found myself in charge of children, students, preaching, worship, midweek teaching, Sunday School, outreach, hospital visits, and the weekly bulletin.
Having a superman complex, I went to work! Everything was going great for a while then I realized I was starting to drop balls. All the plates I was spinning were starting to topple and fall. Something had to give!
There was a shortage of leaders because I hadn’t developed any & I could’t keep pace. I was headed for trouble…fast!
During this time, I was enrolled in Seminary and attended a class on church leadership taught by Dr. Jim Henry. Our assigned text books were Developing the Leader Within You and Developing the Leaders Around You.
I was writing a paper for my class and realized that for our church to grow (and for me to remain sane) I had to make leadership development a priority. I realized that it was extremely selfish for me to try to do everything myself.
I decided to read as much on leadership as I could and surround myself with a small group of leaders at the church that I would personally develop and work through. I started pouring myself into those leaders so they could pour into their teams. For the first time in my life I started developing leaders and it saved our church…and it saved me from being a selfish leader.
Are you trying to do everything yourself? Do you have a hard time releasing others to do the work of ministry? If so, you’re in danger of being a selfish leader. Begin reproducing yourself and releasing people lead.